Managing first 100 days of an employee

Imagine the following Scenario: you are starting a new job and have just come in to your new office; but to your surprise, you find that the company is totally unprepared for your arrival and you don’t know what to do and whom to talk to. Studies show that there is a strong correlation between the experiences of an employee’s first 100 days in an organization and his continuance in the organization for long term.

Onboarding is very critical for cementing long term employee-employer relationship! When this relationship fails resulting in a wrong hire, the cost of the wrong hire can adversely impact the overall growth of an organization and is a blot on Human Resources division. On many occasions, wrong hires are mismanagement of expectations rather than lack of talent. The mismanagement of expectations might be from the employer’s HR side as-well

Employee On boarding

Employee on-boarding is the process of managing the assimilation of an employee into the organizational fold, right from first day of the employee to the successful completion of one year.

Employee on-boarding is about the planning of how new hires will be introduced into the organization. It will affect their future performance, their ability to achieve stated goals and their overall satisfaction with their new positions. A well thought out employee on boarding process should have plans for multiple phase of the on boarding which include separate programs for first, second and third months of employment.

Orientation

The first days and weeks on the job for new employees are critical to their ability to fit in and become as productive as possible, as soon as possible. The first step to ‘on boarding’ is orientation. Orientation starts from how an employee is welcomed into the office, shown an office tour, briefed about the basic policies like dress-code, company rules etc. An HR personnel should personally introduce the newcomer to other members of the working team. Also, information about all the relevant people like names and phone numbers of whom to call in the event of questions or emergencies should be provided.

Setting expectations & goals right

The on boarding employee should know how and where they fit in the organizational structure. For this, the employee should be made to understand how the business creates value, and what will be his/her personal contribution to the value-chain will be. This will clarify the business objective for which the employee has been hired.

Roles and Responsibilities, including the tasks expected to be completed by the employee along with the performance assessment method which will be used to measure the performance should be articulated clearly.

HR personnel should also understand the skill sets of the employee and what tasks the employee can do best. HR should ensure that those tasks are included in the assessment plan so that the employee’s best strengths can be leveraged by the organization.

Forging Relationships

HR should ensure that the employee is introduced to the organizational network including mentors and colleagues who would be his collaborators in helping him create his contribution to the organizational value-chain. HR can prefix meetings with them at at predetermined points: two weeks after the first day on the job, and later at intervals suited to the job profile. HR could also ensure that some of these meetings are personal by encourage them to meet offline. Such meetings will help employees understand the organizational culture well.

Providing Support:

HR should be providing valuable support to the on boarding employees by gathering feedback from the mentors and colleagues and help the employees understand how they are performing. This could help them strive to improve and meet their and exceed assessment criteria. HR should constantly follow up with both on-boarding employee and the rest of the team to ensure that the feedback loop is in properly in place.

A successful employee on boarding exercise should cover three main aspects – ensuring relationships are forged, organizational expectations and objectives are clarified, and constant feedback loop is in place. Successful employee on-boarding can significantly reduce employee turnover and ensure long-term success for all.

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